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November 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Earlier this month, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” we asked readers to share favorite memories (and photos!) of ballet — whether it be a holiday “Nutcracker,” a school recital, or just a bit of leaping around in the living room pretending to be a ballerina. More than 100 entries pirouetted into our offices, with tales of dancing snowflakes, tiny tutus, long-treasured visits to an annual “Nutcracker,” and worn-out ballet slippers never thrown away.
It was no easy task to pick a winner, but something about the three little girls in Tara Hook’s entry danced right into our hearts: a trio of deliriously happy five-year-olds, in party dresses and clutching ballerina cupcakes, attending their first “Nutcracker” and looking like some magical dream had just come true. Hook wins four tickets to PNB’s “Nutcracker” plus a $100 gift card to nearby Collections Cafe at Chihuly Garden & Glass; we hope she’ll find another night of magic.
Here’s how Hook described her photo: “To a five-year old, the theater is a magical place where stories come to life. My daughter Audrey and her two best friends all share birthdays in the same week at the beginning of December. For their fifth birthday, we treated them to a special evening — their first ‘Nutcracker’ performance together! The girls were so excited! I’d never witnessed such pure amazement and adoration on their faces as they watched the dance of the snowflake — at least until they each received their own ballerina cupcake!”
Our runners-up also had charm galore, like this vintage entry from Anne Griffin: “My favorite ballet memory is being fitted for my first ballet toe shoes — they used ‘bunnies’ (rabbit fur) to cushion my toes. I loved the lime green with emerald trim Chinese costume I wore for my performance. Although I haven’t danced in decades, in my mind I move gracefully with the dancers as I watch “The Nutcracker,” remembering all the ballet positions as they dance. The drama, the music and the dancing take me to that special day when I proudly stood on point wearing my toe shoes.”
November 11, 2013 at 5:23 AM
On Nov. 30, the curtain will rise on Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 30th anniversary production of “Nutcracker,” designed by Maurice Sendak and choreographed by Kent Stowell back in 1983. It’s a production full of children — and those mice, soldiers and servants of the original cast are now approaching middle age, and possibly looking back fondly at their “Nutcracker” stint.
So in early November, we asked our readers to look back, too, and tell us about their fondest childhood memories of ballet, whether it be as participant or observer, “Nutcracker” or pre-school recital, PNB or neighborhood community center, first tutu or first beginner class.
It was a contest (which closed Nov. 20) and there was a prize: The reader who sent us the most delightful memory in words or a picture (as determined by Seattle Times staffers), received four tickets to PNB’s “Nutcracker,” plus a $100 gift card for dinner at the nearby Collections Cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
View all the entries below. Then click here to see the winning photo and recollection, sent to us by Tara Hook of Seattle.
October 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley mysteries (and a local; she currently lives on Whidbey Island), dropped by Friday for a live chat. She talked with readers and Seattle Times arts writer Moira Macdonald about “Just One Evil Act,” the 18th novel in the popular Lynley series, and the writer’s life. View the conversation below.
You can also meet George in person at 5 p.m. Saturday at Elliott Bay Book Co. and 3 p.m. Sunday at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge. For more info about the author, her books and live appearances, go to www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com.
October 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM
It was all too beautiful to last, wasn’t it? Seattle’s own Bill Nye the Science Guy was voted off “Dancing with the Stars” last night, after a robotic jazz dance with partner Tyne Stecklein. The robotics were intentional: Nye, who tore ligaments in his knee during last week’s performance, was dancing with his leg immobilized. Perhaps that’s why this fan favorite was voted off; perhaps the mixture of “DWTS,” Daft Punk, and a costume that resembled a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was too much; perhaps there’s a scientific explanation for all of this. Here’s Nye’s last dance — you decide.
July 30, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Louise Nadeau, longtime principal dancer and audience favorite at Pacific Northwest Ballet (she retired in 2009 after 19 years with the company), has a new job, not too far from home: Starting in September, she’ll be School Principal of Evergreen City Ballet in Renton. Nadeau has taught at the company’s school for the past two years. The position reunites her with an old friend: Kevin Kaiser, who danced with PNB from 1982 to 1995 and was a frequent Nadeau partner in the ’90s, is Evergreen’s Artistic/Executive Director.
July 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM
Seattle’s loss is Portland’s gain: Jeffrey Stanton, long a popular principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet (with the company 1994-2011) and currently a faculty member there, has accepted a position as ballet master with Oregon Ballet Theater. He’ll begin work there in August.
And a snappy goodbye to you, Mr. Stanton! Best of luck to him in the new position. (Photo by Angela Sterling)
In other PNB news, individual tickets for the 2013/2014 season (which will feature world premieres from Twyla Tharp and Alejandro Cerrudo, a PNB premiere from Crystal Pite and a newly designed “Giselle,” among other works) will go on sale July 22 with a special offer: no service charges on tickets purchased through July 31. PNB box office: 206-441-2424 or www.pnb.org.
February 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Though it’s still early days, PNB is notifying subscribers this week of what its 2013/2014 season might look like (subject to change, as seasons are all about budgets). Among the highlights: a world premiere ballet (currently untitled) by Twyla Tharp, who’s in residence at the company for several months this year, and which will be showcased in an all-Tharp program to open the season in September. That rep would also include the return of Tharp audience favorite “Nine Sinatra Songs” and a PNB Tharp premiere, “Brief Fling.” PNB will also present a world premiere from Alejandro Cerrudo (currently resident choreographer at Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance), and local premieres from Jiri Kylian (“Forgotten Land”) and Crystal Pite (“Emergence”).
As the season looks now, it’s a balanced mixture of contemporary rep programs (the Tharp evening, a Kylian/Pite rep, and and a bill featuring Cerrudo’s ballet and three returning contemporary works) and traditional story ballets. “Giselle,” new to the company last year, will return with new costumes by Jerome Kaplan (“Romeo et Juliette”); also returning are George Balanchine’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Ronald Hynd’s “Sleeping Beauty” and Kent Stowell’s “Nutcracker.” No Jerome Robbins? No other Balanchine? Stay tuned; things may change. A final version of the season will likely be announced in a month or so; individual tickets will go on sale in July.
February 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM
“Romeo et Juliette,” Jean-Christophe Maillot’s passionate retelling of Shakespeare’s tale, continues at Pacific Northwest Ballet for another week, but that’s not the only news out of PNB these days. The company’s headed to New York — it’s PNB’s first all-company tour there since 1996 — for three more performances of “Romeo et Juliette” and an evening of Balanchine repertory, all at New York City Center, Feb. 13-16. In anticipation, a profile of PNB principal dancer Carla Korbes (who’ll be one of two Juliettes on the tour) appeared in the New York Times yesterday; it’s a homecoming of sorts for Korbes, who studied at the School of American Ballet and danced for five years with New York City Ballet.
In other PNB news: Artistic director Peter Boal announced, from the stage of McCaw Hall after the final curtain of “Romeo et Juliette” on Friday, the well-deserved promotion of James Moore to principal dancer. Here he is as Romeo, with Kaori Nakamura. (Photo by Angela Sterling)
January 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM
If you have fond memories of the remarkable pairing of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Lucien Postlewaite and Noelani Pantastico in “Romeo et Juliette” a few years back — have I got a hot ticket for you. Both dancers have since left the company, to join R&J choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, but they’re returning next month for one performance only: Saturday, February 9th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at www.pnb.org, but going fast. Should be a memorable performance.
I’ve missed these two; haven’t you? (Photo by Angela Sterling.)
August 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM
It’s hard to think about “Nutcracker” on such a steamy day (actually, pondering the Waltz of the Snowflakes is rather cooling . . .), but Pacific Northwest Ballet is giving us reason to do so: Tickets for the two performances on December 18, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., are now 50 percent off — for 48 hours only. This offer expires at midnight Friday (which is to say, approximately 11:59 p.m. Friday night; an original PNB email confusingly said “midnight Saturday”); don’t miss out. For details, click here.
(Photo by Benjamin Benschneider, The SeattleTimes)
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